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40 Ib Points Ucas Personal Statement

It's important to be aware that not all qualifications attract a Ucas point score and, in the majority of cases, only the top level of achievement is counted. 

It’s worth checking all qualifications you are completing on the new Ucas tariff calculator. Only level 3 qualifications are on the tariff, but this does include qualifications such as graded music qualifications from grades 6-8, as some will gain you extra tariff points.

Since the scope of qualifications that attract Ucas points is vast - think horse care, functional skills and hairdressing - it is worth cross checking with Ucas' comprehensive list to make sure you know exactly what your score is and if you could qualify for any additional points.

So what's new?

According to Margaret Farragher, Ucas’ head of policy and qualifications, for most people, the new points shouldn’t make any difference to their university applications:

  1. We changed the tariff to make it fairer and to include a wider range of qualifications taken by students applying to higher education. The new tariff comes into effect for higher education courses starting in September 2017
  2. The main thing about the new tariff is that all the numbers are much lower than the old tariff as a completely different scale has been used. For example, an A-level grade A* gets 56 points in comparison with 140 previously. But the ‘value’ of the most popular qualifications - including academic and vocational - is exactly the same.
  3. One key change is that the AS qualification has been repositioned to 40 per cent of an A Level, rather than 50 per cent. This is in line with statements made by the UK qualification regulators. While the decoupled AS no longer counts as a ‘stepping stone’ to a full A-level in England, it continues to be the first stage of an A level in Wales and Northern Ireland, contributing 40 per cent of the overall marks.
  4.  Only level 3 regulated qualifications can come onto the new tariff as these are designed to ensure they support progression to higher education.  However, not all universities accept all qualifications - it depends on whether a qualification is right for their course
  5. Just because a qualification is on the tariff, it doesn't mean a university or college will accept it for entry to their courses. Equally, if a qualification is not on the tariff, it may still be accepted by a university if it’s relevant. It's essential to check the course entry requirements and speak to university admissions staff, if necessary.

To quickly review your A-level point score online, check out the Ucas tariff calculator.  Below is a basic outline for A-levels and the International Baccalaureate.

A-level and A/S exams


A* = 56

A = 48

B = 40

C = 32

D = 24

E = 16

AS level

A = 20

B = 16

C = 12

D = 10

E = 6 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

Tariff points for the IB are calculated by adding together the points for each of its separate parts.

Certificate in Higher Level

H7 = 56

H6 = 48

H5 = 32

H4 = 24

H3 = 12

H2 = 0

H1 = 0

Certificate in Standard Level

S7 = 28

S6 = 24

S5 = 16

S4 = 12

S3 = 6

S2 = 0

S1 = 0

Extended Essay

A = 12

B = 10

C = 8

D = 6

E = 4

Theory of knowledge

A = 12

B = 10

C = 8

D = 6

E = 4

Don't... Be careless

Completing a Ucas application is not, on the whole, an exciting activity: there will be lots of information to provide, with dates and subjects and grades.

Do take care though, and make sure everything is accurate. If you've accidentally said an AS level is an A-level, or a D is a B, and a university makes you an offer on that basis, you could find yourself without a place later on when the mistake comes to light.

If you do make a mistake and only realise it once you've submitted your application, tell Ucas and your chosen universities as soon as possible. And when you get offers, read them carefully - if a university has made you an offer that seems a bit odd given your subjects or grades, question it as soon as you get it. Most mistakes can be rectified, but the sooner they are brought to light the better.

Leave off information

Did you start university last year and drop out? Did you mess up an AS level? Was your perfect set of A grade GCSEs spoilt by that rogue D? You might be tempted to leave off information like this, but make sure you don't, because your Ucas application requires you to agree that the information you have given is full and accurate, and if you have answered questions incompletely you are effectively committing fraud.

If you think a piece of information might be detrimental to your application use your personal statement (or ask you referee to use the reference) to explain it, but don't forget that universities are used to dealing with all kinds of people, and very few applications are perfect.

If you had a go at something that didn't work out, it's very unlikely to have an adverse impact on the way your application is viewed.

Worry too much about your personal statement

The personal statement is the only bit of your Ucas application which is really personal to you - it's your chance to tell universities about yourself and what you want to study and why they should offer you a place. But don't let that overwhelm you: yes, it matters, but it doesn't have to be a masterpiece.